WordPress – pros and cons

At Pragmatic, we use WordPress for almost every website we build. It’s an amazing piece of software that currently powers about 20% of the world’s websites(!) – and the amazing thing is that it’s totally free, open-source and owned by the community. In this article, we look at WordPress as software, why we recommend it, how we work with it and some of the limitations you should be aware of.

WordPress logo

Why WordPress?

The self-hosted version of WordPress is a force to be reckoned with, powering millions of websites. We think it offers the best balance between usability, functionality and ease of development for most website requirements. It’s:

  • Powerful – WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that gives you the power to update your site without the need for further involvement from a developer
  • Extendable – we can usually find off-the-shelf plugins and themes to add functionality that is not provided by WordPress core. It’s straight-forward for us to write custom code in the form of plugins and/or themes to extend that functionality further.
  • Supported – with hundreds of millions of people using WordPress constantly, there’s a how-to, tutorial, support forum or guide for almost anything you want to do. Whether it’s a step-by-step guide to adding an image to a blog post, or learning how to build a theme – it’s all there for you to learn and access. Most of it’s published on WordPress sites!
  • Free, open source software (FOSS) – WordPress is developed, tested and supported continually. No other web CMS has anywhere near the number of man-hours invested in it – we think that’s one of the best signs that WordPress is a good choice for the future as well as here and now.

Don’t just take our word for it. The WordPress.org site itself is very well-documented and we advise you to review some of the features and capabilities of WordPress. We can’t cover all possible features, functionality and limitations in this document.

Find out what makes us WordPress experts.

Potential limitations

We try to be clear about the benefits, limitations and risks of using open source software. Here are some things you should consider:

  • Ownership – WordPress and much of its software ecosystem are free and open source. We can’t control its future development or the impact that updates might have on your website or business.
  • Updates – it’s essential that your website is kept updated to current versions of WordPress, plugins and themes. Find out why we say this here. We’ll never compromise your ability to update your WordPress site, plugins or commercial themes without informing you specifically about the implications.
  • 3rd party code – we can’t be responsible for other people’s code – that means we won’t modify or extend WordPress, plugin or theme functionality unless that’s specifically included in a scope of work we agree. You should be aware that where functionality or design is provided by off-the-shelf software, future changes can be easy to make. In the future, if you request changes that are outside what off-the-shelf software is able to provide (or you’re unwilling to use that software) then costs may increase significantly.

Theme and plugin development

When undertaking WordPress theme and plugin work, we deliver ready-to install packages containing files and templates developed from PHP, (X)HTML markup, CSS for styling and unobtrusive Javascript for feature detection and behaviours.

Within reason, we’ll comply with WordPress coding standards: http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Coding_Standards to make sure our work is easy for other developers to understand.

Discover more about our professional WordPress website development services.

Future proofing and ongoing care

WordPress is the best-used and best-supported open source Content Management System used in the world today. Whilst it is impossible to predict future requirements for something as complex as a website, WordPress is an extremely versatile, capable and extensible platform. We believe that WordPress is a safe choice for future-proof websites.

Remember to read about the importance of updating WordPress.

Software licensing

Some themes or plugins we install and use may be proprietary and licensed commercially. We’ll tell you about any such software that we use in our proposal to you and detail their cost. Unless specified otherwise, you will be responsible for the cost of licensing such software both now and in the future. If you fail to maintain current licenses for the software, you may be unable to access updates and support to keep your website functioning.

Pragmatic may grant you (as detailed within the proposal), the right to use a developer license owned by Pragmatic for as long as a commercial relationship exists between us. If/when that relationship terminates, it’s up to you to obtain your own licenses.

WordPress is GPL-licensed software and any theme or plugin we produce is considered a derivative work and therefore inherits the GPL license. You should understand the implications of this for IP ownership of the code and markup we write for you.

Summary

Pragmatic believe that Free, Open-Source Software is a force for good in the world and that WordPress in particular is an excellent choice for many new websites. However, it’s important that you understand and appreciate the implications and limitations of using an open-source platform for your business. Got any questions? Give us a shout!

Get in touch to find out how we can help you create a beautiful WordPress website!

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2 responses to “WordPress – pros and cons

  1. Thank you for the great article. Our website has a lot of real estate listings with pictures based on location. We have a big database in Joomla (php/sql) and I’m wondering if you think WordPress can handle big databases.

    Thank you for any insight.
    DD

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